Mounties in large numbers descended on the Sts’ailes First Nation Wednesday afternoon in response to a report of a man known to police fleeing from an allegedly stolen vehicle where a firearm was found.
Social media erupted with reports of a convoy of unmarked police vehicles heading east through Chilliwack, then through Agassiz, all the way to Sts’ailes before 2 p.m.
The large presence of officers was triggered after Agassiz RCMP officers observed an allegedly stolen vehicle near Leon Road and Chehalis Road on the reserve, according to RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Mike Rail.
When approached by police, the occupant, who is known to them, fled. A search began and a firearm was seized at the vehicle.
“The person who ran away hasn’t been identified but was thought to be a person know to police,” Rail said Thursday.
The firearm and the flight from police triggered the response from multiple teams.
The Agassiz RCMP was supported by the Upper Fraser Valley Regional Detachment’s Indigenous Policing Service, the Lower Mainland Integrated Police Dog Services, and the Lower Mainland District Emergency Response Team (ERT).
Officers conducted a search of the area assisted by the RCMP’s helicopter Air 1.
One resident said officers were in a store looking for a suspect, and others reported the helicopter hovering over the neighbourhood as well.
Someone camping at the Chehalis River Campground reported hearing shots fired, but RCMP said no shots were fired. Rail would not comment on ERT activities, but the team often use devices known as “flashbangs,” which can be mistaken for gunshots.
A large area was cordoned off and a thorough search was conducted but the suspect was not located.
RCMP continue to investigate and canvass the area.
Anyone with information is asked to call your local RCMP detachment or, to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).